Mentoring Always Makes My Day

Make It Happen, Make It Consistent, Make It Organic

I received this note today from someone to whom I give the occasional career (and life) advice and who I regularly connect to important business opportunities.  I suppose I am his mentor but perhaps that term is now too corporate for me.  I am his coach, friend, and connector!

He said, “By the way, I am trying to help two people get new jobs.  First, I got someone inside the company in front of the right people so that this individual might get a deserved promotion.  I am also trying to get an external person a job in my company.  I just made the connection last night and I have already set up an interview!  If I can give back just half as much as you, I can make a huge difference for others.”

I am very grateful that I was able to help and even happier that others are continuing the good work.

NOT Required Reading – My take on Mentoring

Mentoring can play a vital part in organizations large and small. It is important not only for an individual’s growth, but vital for the success of a business, a team or any other group. If all the little ships don’t rise together, the big ship won’t either. I have always been surprised to find people who have the attitude, “What can you do for me?” as opposed to, “What can I do to help all of us succeed?”

Mentoring is one of the most direct ways to provide nourishment to an employee, colleague or team member. We all need to figure out a way to make mentoring relationships evolve naturally and broadly. It is imperative that support for this starts at the top of an organization and it needs to be genuine. People tend to tell others about good mentoring experiences and that is the best way to get buy-in. This is a big part of the glue of the organization’s culture.

Corporate mentoring programs often mandate that every senior person sign up to participate.  I don’t really believe that these are widely successful but it is clearly better than nothing at all. People are so busy that the “mentoring” often can turn into just a periodic lunch date between the mentor and the mentee.

My best mentoring relationships have been those that have evolved naturally. There are several people who have been instrumental in my growth and success in this way. These were sometimes people I worked for, but not necessarily.  In all cases, they were people who took a genuine interest in my development because of a shared objective or a shared interest. It was what I call “organic” mentoring. This kind of relationship happens when the mentee also offers something needed by the  mentor.

Remember that I recently wrote about my mantra “help me help you.”   I suppose that mantra applies here as well.

Son of a Postman

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